Autism and Asbergers

Until just recently, there was within the psychiatric community a definition of those high performing autistic children, the label Asbergers.  These were those autistic children that were the high IQ type that were difficult to tell from "normal" because of their intelligence.   My wife was a special education teacher and we were blessed to know one of these children and the wife had him through most of his elementary years.  

Like most autistic children our friend Tex (a name I made up to protect the innocent) had a tough time reading the things that make most of us social.  There is no way he could really understand the many ways we interact as he just didn't have that connection.  What was apparent was the lack of control in his ability to understand what he did and how it effected others.  

Normally, Tex was so regimented that his mother had to send his lunch from home.  Tex could not vary from a routine and there was just no way he could be changed without a major meltdown in his life.  For years, his mother sent yogurt in his lunch.  It was the kind that had the strawberries on the bottom and you either ate the bland yogurt first or mixed it in.  For some reason, known only to his mother, she (or whoever shopped that week) bought the yogurt that had the flavor blended in the entire package.  This small change caused Tex to have a melt down at lunch and his mother had to come and take him home. 

After months of working with Tex, the wife attended a class that told the care givers and teachers of Asbergers students to make a list of the rules.  Better yet, have the student write the list and then refer to it to help them perform in a more normal manner.  For some reason the Autistic child needed this tie to what is normal and at least in Tex's case it helped him perform a lot more normal.  The last time I saw him, he was a six foot, two hundred pound seventh grader and he stood out enough on his own.  

I am writing this to give you background on what I think went wrong in the New Town, Connecticut case.   No, I do not have a Masters Degree, only a lifetime of working with people and a history of watching one special Autistic child grow up. Take it for what it is worth.

Autistic children have a world of things to learn.  Many of them are impaired but a number are above average in intelligence but lack the understanding of what other people think.  Combine that with a very hard time when it comes to change, and wrong things can and do get stuck in their rules of acceptable behavior.  With that in mind, I as a parent would never spend any time with an Autistic child around guns.  They just lack the ability to feel for others and guns are the expression of taking the life of others that they just cannot understand.  It is hard enough to teach them the rules of simple games.  

When my father was going through a rough time in his life, one Christmas when we were there my mother had me take Dad's shotguns home with me.  We couldn't afford a gun safe at that time and the best way to keep things safe was to remove the guns.  My father was Bi-Polar and there was almost no bottom to the low's when he got depressed.  

No one will understand the why Mrs Lanza did what she did.  In that same notion, her son Adam will remain a mystery to the world.  All I can say is that in my opinion, I would have spent time with Adam teaching him to read, paint, ride a bike and to focus on things that he could use in his life.  I would have either sent the guns home with a relative or kept them locked up.  

But, with all that said, it is my humble opinion and what you read is worth what you paid for it.  If you don't like this, get you own blog and write.


No comments:

Post a Comment